Florida Passover vacationers left in lurch when organizer fails to pay bills

Hundreds of guests face eviction from resort after company head leaves them with $75,000 unpaid

'A Different Pesach' promised guests a private villa, kosher food and other amenities (YouTube screenshot)
'A Different Pesach' promised guests a private villa, kosher food and other amenities (YouTube screenshot)

JTA — Guests at a Passover program in Florida faced eviction from the resort where they were staying after the program organizer failed to pay at least $75,000 in expenses.

The program, called “A Different Pesach,” had promised guests private villas in Orlando, kosher food and shared communal spaces, including a synagogue tent, for all eight days of Passover.

But after hundreds of guests arrived, it emerged that organizer Ben Atkin had not paid for all the expenses, and on Sunday some guests received eviction notices for the villas in which they were staying, The New York Jewish Week reported. The following day, the resort told those guests that they could not use some of the common areas since Atkin owed money.

Meanwhile, Atkin had left the premises and his whereabouts were unknown.

On Tuesday, operations managers for “A Different Pesach,” Brian Goldberg and Dennis Ratzker, told The Jewish Week that they have paid more than $15,000 of their own money to cover costs. Some guests also offered to pitch in.

This wasn’t Atkin’s first failed Passover program. In 2003, more than 450 guests at a program he organized at a hotel were evicted due to a payment dispute, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

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